If your journey takes you on a plane across the summit of Gran Canaria, you will catch a glimpse of a landscape of deep ravines and mountains moteadas by water lagoons. From up on high they might just be swimming pools for giants.
Don’t let your eyes deceive you. This blue actually corresponds to the Reservoirs de Gran Canaria. Over a dozen great reservoirs and another undefined number of smaller constructions spread all over the summit region, generating pleasant and cool areas, in places where water is a real treasure.
In Gran Canaria we don’t use the word ”reservoir” as such, we use “dam” to define these kinds of public works, which are part of such an essential hydraulic cultural heritage on the Archipielago.
Perhaps it is not so costly to “dam up" water. If only the mountains around Gran Canaria would make it easy for us, but it is not so.
Good proof of this is the Los Pérez Reservoir, an example of generations of islanders’ efforts to capture the water gifted to us by the intermittent sea of clouds.
The Los Pérez construction has been raised in remote spot, covering a surface area of 95,000 square metres, and dates from 1934. In its day it took 70 labourers to construct it by hand. It is an important engineering work which hides the pipework and communicating channels which provide water for the region’s farmlands.
It is situated at the head of the basin of the Ravine of Agaete. It forms part of a trio of reservoirs on steps, along with Lugarejos and Las Hoyas Reservoirs which, alongside the Regante, also known as the Reservoir of Las Garzas, belong to the North of Gran Canaria Irrigation Community.
Aside from the ownership and battles for water, what we have is the chance to truly enjoy the surrounding countryside at this Los Pérez Reservoir, located up at the municipality of Artenara.
It is a superb place to come and enjoy the simple life, to ramble for a whole morning any morning, along its water’s edge or along the dirt track that surrounds it.
On our way round to the reservoir, from Gáldar to Lugarejos, we can make out the cliffs along the northern coast, and the amazing ravines with peaks and shadows which seem to burst into life.
As we move along the road towards this site, we can view the waters of the reservoir and we can already start to feel the calm. A peaceful scenario at our feet. It is inserted below a pine forest, on a hillside dotted with house caves and a window to infinity over the wall. At barely 500 metres above sea level we can just about see how the sky and the land are knitted together.